Outfought, outwitted, out of the Carabao Cup.

That was the story of a miserable Merseyside night for woeful West Ham United as they were simply torn apart by lethal Liverpool in this quarter-final tie.

Right from the very first whistle, the Hammers found themselves trying to repel a rampant Red tide as they rarely got the ball out of their own half.

Dominik Szoboszlai struck on the half-hour to give Jürgen Klopp’s side an interval lead and, although David Moyes men somehow only conceded once during 45 one-sided minutes, the Scot then saw his team simply fall apart after the break as Curtis Jones and Cody Gakpo extended the advantage yet further.

And although, Jarrod Bowen netted 13 minutes from time, substitute Mohamed Saleh and Jones, once again, cemented Liverpool’s place in the last four, where they will meet Fulham.

Making a 500-mile round-trip to the north west, just five days before Christmas, there was certainly no festive cheer for the 6,000 travelling members of the Claret & Blue army packed behind the goal of the recalled Alphonse Areola who was destined to endure a torrid evening,

The script was written in the opening exchanges, when the lively Harvey Elliott drilled an early, angled 18-yarder wide before then curling another effort from similar range just inches over the French stopper’s left-hand angle.

Szoboszlai also slipped in the act of shooting, while Jones unleashed a dipping effort into Areola’s gloves and both Waturu Endo and Elliott, once more, tried their luck, too.

The Hammers had arrived at Anfield with just one win on 55 visits since mid-September back in 1963 and following Sunday’s welcome 3-0 win over Wolverhampton Wanderers, they made half a dozen changes.

Areola, skipper Angelo Ogbonna, Konstantinos Mavropanos, Ben Johnson, Pablo Fornals and Saïd Benrahma all earned call-ups in place of Nayef Aguerd (ill) plus substitutes Łukasz Fabianski, Emerson, Kurt Zouma, James Ward-Prowse and Lucas Paquetá.

Apart from seeing Benrahma bundled over without reward on a rare foray forward, reshuffled, encircled West Ham continued to remain entrenched in and around their own penalty area for long periods.

Klopp had also made six changes from the side that had shared a goalless draw with Manchester United at Anfield on Sunday afternoon, with Jones, Gakpo, Elliott, Joe Gomez, keeper Caoimhin Kelleher and Jarell Quansah all handed starting jerseys.

And on 28 minutes, Quansah repaid the German manager’s faith in him when he robbed Benrahma on halfway and fed Szoboszlai, who advanced towards the edge of the Hammers area before unleashing a low, dipping 20-yarder that flew between Ogbonna and Mavropanos before sizzling beyond Areola’s outstretched right glove and ripping into the bottom left-hand corner of the West Ham net.

The Hungarian’s fourth goal of the season since his £60million summer signing from RB Leipzig was nothing less than the Reds merited and, although Gakpo went wide in the closing moments of a one-way first half, the only surprise of the evening to date was the fact that the nine-time winners of the trophy only had that Szoboszlai stunner to show for 45 minutes of Merseyside dominance,

Just after the break, Nunez forced Areola to hold his rising shot under the crossbar before Curtis Jones fired across goal and Edson Álvarez collected his 11th booking of the season for felling Elliott.

Breaking upfield in a token act of resistance, Benrahma fired over a low left-wing cross that only just eluded Fornals and, perhaps sensing there could be a glimmer of hope of somehow getting back into this tie, Moyes readied Paquetá for action.

But with the Brazilian waiting in the wings, Darwin Nunez picked out the overlapping Jones, who rendered all notion of any East End fightback nigh on impossible when he outpaced Ogbonna to the byline and somehow slotted a tightly-angled shot between the legs of Areola his near post.

Now seeing his side two down and with a Merseyside monsoon falling from an ever-darkening night, Paquetá duly entered the stage.

Looking across to the Liverpool dug-out, though, Moyes would have been further disheartened at the sight of Klopp launching a triple substitution of his own that saw Salah, Trent Alexander Arnold and Ibrahima Konaté replacing Szoboszlai, Endo and the hitherto untroubled Virgil van Dijk.

With those fresh-legged, big guns entering the fray, the Scot must have feared the worst and after surviving a few scrambles and skirmishes in and around their penalty area, sure enough, the Hammers found themselves falling further behind on 71 minutes.

This time, Konaté was allowed to advance from halfway before feeding Gakpo, who collected the ball and drilled a low 20-yarder between Ogbonna and Mavropanos, beyond Areola.

With 13 minutes remaining, top-scorer Bowen sprinted onto Johnson’s left-wing pass forward and after holding off Quansah, he took his tally to a dozen for the season with a curling 15-yarder but, sadly, it would prove to be a mere consolation for West Ham.

Moments later, Nunez rocked the post with a thumping low, 20-yarder and, although Salah uncharacteristically bundled the rebound wide from six yards, the Egyptian would still find the net with eight minutes left.

Alexander-Arnold won possession on the edge of the Liverpool area and with the pressing, visiting defence having gone missing in action, the substitute’s raking through ball sent Salah racing clear of substitute Thilo Kehrer and he planted his 15th goal of the season past the helplessly exposed Areola.

Still Liverpool were not finished and, collecting on the edge of the centre circle, Jones was then handed the freedom of the city of Liverpool as he slalomed his way through a series of half-hearted Hammers challenges before arriving on the penalty spot and climaxing his run with an unstoppable shot to seal a 5-1 victory and that semi-final date with Fulham.

LIVERPOOL: Kelleher, Gomez, Tsimikas (Bradley 69), Quansah, van Dijk (Konaté 60), Szoboszlai (Salah 60), Endo (Alexander-Arnold 60), Elliott, Jones, Gakpo (Diaz 78), Nunez. Unused subs: Adrian, Clark, Gordon, McConnell.

WEST HAM UNITED: Areola, Coufal (Ward-Prowse 72), Johnson, Ogbonna, Mavropanos, Souček, Álvarez (Ings 81), Fornals, Kudus (Kehrer 72), Benrahma (Paquetá 57), Bowen. Unused subs: Fabiański, Cresswell, Zouma, Emerson, Mubama.

Booked: Álvarez (52).

Referee: Tim Robinson.